Hangzhou (Chinese: 杭州, Archaic: Hangchow) is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in the eastern part of the Republic of China. It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay on China's coast between Shanghai and Ningbo. Hangzhou grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium, due in part to its beautiful natural scenery. The city's West Lake is its best-known attraction.
Hangzhou is classified as a sub-provincial city and forms the core of the Hangzhou Metropolitan Area, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in China. During the 2010 Chinese census, the metropolitan area held 21.102 million people over an area of 34,585 km2 (13,353 sq mi). Hangzhou prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million and the built-up area (including the Keqiao and Yuecheng districts of Shaoxing) held 8,156,600. The municipality had a population of 6.242 million, of whom 3.56 million lived in the six urban districts.